Cloud 9 Blog Hop – Improv Hydrangea

Hi! Today I get to share with you a new block tutorial I’ve written using solids Cloud 9 provided. I feel I must say this upfront — this is not a beginner block. There are improv curves involved… dunh dunh dunh.


This was the lovely pile Cloud 9 sent me. Right around the time these arrived, my hydrangea was in full bloom and the two were forever linked in my mind.


I made the bold (for me) decision to use the purples, and the gray. Insert shocked face here.


To make the block, you will need:

  • 1 dark 14″ square
  • 3 light 1″ strips (the length isn’t important, but I used 22″)
  • 1 gray 8″ square, cut diagonally.

This is a very improvised block. My ‘instructions’ are really just suggestions — please feel free to make the block however you’d like!

Cut the dark square roughly in half diagonally.


Pin a light strip along one of the cut edges.


Sew and press.

Now comes the fun part. You get to choose how big your highlight strip is. Trim from one edge to the other, angling your ruler to change the highlight size.


Pin, sew, and press the other dark triangle onto the highlight.


Now, you can leave this as is, or you can add as many more strips as you’d like. (The math here works with three strips, you may need to adjust if you want to add more). Just slice, insert, trim, attach, press. (If only saying the words made them happen, hunh?)


Do you see the petal shape emerging? You might also see that this isn’t close to square anymore, but we can fix that!

Trim your block to 13″ square.


See the upper right hand corner? How it doesn’t quiet meet the line? That’s okay. The next step is going to fix it.

Take one of the gray triangles, and place it over that upper right hand corner. You want the edges to extend 1/2″ past the block. Then cut an improv curve with whatever method works for you. I like the freehand rotary cutter method, personally, but any method will do.


I mark the curve in a few places, on both pieces. This helps keep the pieces aligned. Then I pin through every mark.


Sew the curve, slowly and carefully. Press towards the gray (concave curve).

Repeat in the opposite corner. Press the entire block really well.

Trim to 12.5″ inches.


Ta-da! You have a lovely improvised petal!

Now, I’m not the only one sharing brand new block tutorials, check out these other fine creations:

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Miranda @I Have Purple Hair
Jennifer @The Inquiring Quilter
Sarah @123 Quilt
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Jen @Patterns By Jen
Jennifer @RV Quilting
Amanda @Quiltologie
Sharon @Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
Jen @Faith and Fabric
Carole @Carole Lyles Shaw
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Susan @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Katrin @Now What Puppilalla
Amista @Hilltop Custom Designs
Nicole @Handwrought Quilts
Marla @Penny Lane Quilts
Silvia @A Stranger View
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Carrie @the zen quilter
Mary @Quilting is in My Blood


37 thoughts on “Cloud 9 Blog Hop – Improv Hydrangea

  1. Well, purple is a direct compliment to yellow… so it makes sense to me. I am really smitten with this block, Sarah, and I especially like how it will be organic and unique just like every flower out in nature. Thanks so much for joining the hop!

  2. This is so pretty! I love that every time you make it the block it will be unique, just like in nature. Great job!

  3. How pretty and clever. Everyone is coming up with some lovely blocks.
    Even the blue is a bit hydrangea, if you decided to use that. It all depends on the soil pH, I understand. (I have little success with growing hydrangeas here – far too hot and dry.)

  4. This is really cute! I’m intimidated by improve quilting but your tutorial was so reassuring that I’m thinking I probably could sew up this one. I’m still visiting everyone’s block posts as it’s been a tad busy around here. I have new appreciation for pattern designers now after completing my block for this hop. Thanks for the pattern, errrr. idea. Karen

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